Sailability at home at Westhaven
Sailability's Gemma Fletcher writes about this excellent organisation, that houses 22 boats at Westhaven Marina, catering for all levels from beginner to Paralympians.
Sailability Auckland has provided opportunities for people with disabilities young and old to experience sailing since 1991.
Its humble beginning of only four boats and a few participants, has now flourished to over twenty two boats and sixty five members with a variety of regular opportunities for participation and training.
Based out of Z Pier, Westhaven Marina means the dual benefit of access to the sheltered St Mary’s Bay area for learn to sail programmes, and proximity to the greater Waitemata Harbour for more intense training. Sailability provides courses and coaching for people new to sailing to experienced and high performance athletes campaigning towards the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
There are currently six members of Sailability Auckland campaigning in all three Paralympic classes towards the Rio games sailing out of their base at Z Pier.
Two of these members have represented New Zealand in the London 2012 Paralympics and one at the Atlanta and Sydney Paralympic events.
The three classes are; The 2.4mR sailed by Paul Francis, the SKUD 18 with Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher (pictured) and the Sonar sailed by Rick Dodson, Chris Sharp and Andrew May.
"They are all training hard leading up to the 2015 IFDS World Championships in Melbourne during November where they have the opportunity to qualify New Zealand for the Paralympics in Rio, so if you see them down at the Sailability Auckland base or out training on the harbour make sure to show your support."